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What to see in annamariaisland – Natural attractions – Coquina Baywalk – Anna Maria Island

Published on July 20, 2017 by Terry Whyte

07/20/2017

Anna Maria Island has it’s own preserve. Located on Bradenton Beach directly across from the Coquina Beach at the southern tip of Anna Maria Island. This little strip of island provides beautiful views of beautiful Sarasota Bay.

Once a spoil island overgrown with non-native plants that greatly reduced its habitat value, Leffis Key is now a shining example of how government and private interests can collaborate to restore and enhance vital saltwater wetlands, essential to the health of a nationally significant estuary.

One of the unique features of the design is a 26-foot high hill in the center of the restored area. This upland feature offers a breathtaking 360 degree view of Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The hill was planted with native dune and coastal ridge plants such as sea oats, beach elder, dune sunflower, southern red cedar, green buttonwood, sea grape, gumbo-limbo, Hercules’ club, Jamaica dogwood and strangler fig. In addition, over 20,000 marsh grass plants, such as smooth cordgrass, saltwater cordgrass and salt jointgrass, were installed along the banks of the tidal ponds. The plant installation was accomplished with volunteer labor that included hundreds of school children, local environmental clubs and citizens.

Site amenities include footpaths that circle and scale the hill, benches, and 1,500 lineal feet of boardwalks that meander through the mangrove forest, with strategically placed viewing platforms penetrating the open water. Interpretive signs describing the various habitats and the respective plant and animal life are located along the paths.

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This post was created by Terry Whyte


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Meet The Author
Hi, I am Terry, my wife Sandy (who writes our blogs) are the caring, hands on owners and managers of Anna Maria Condo Rentals. We’ve been here for years, so we know Anna Maria Island, the island’s condos, and our island’s guests. We understand you – what you need, what you want, and what you’d really like to have. With us, every stay balances the rigorous requirements of professional managers with the enthusiasm, pride and personal touches of an owner-managed rental. That means that with us, you enjoy the dual benefits of an in-the-know local combined with the professionalism and expertise of a serious company. Come on down and experience the difference for yourself. Our family fell in love with Anna Maria Island the first time we visited in 1989. Every summer since, we’ve spent our vacations on this island, and in 1995, we bought our first condo here. Having a young family at the time meant we had to rent our condo to offset ownership costs. Thankfully, by offering luxurious accommodations at an affordable price, we were able to keep the condo booked for an average of 50 weeks a year. These steady bookings allowed us to purchase our second condo in 2013, and a third in 2014. While opening up these homes has allowed us to keep returning to the island—and even better, to a house that feels like home—we also truly enjoy offering a place to guests to discover Anna Maria Island and feel at home here, too.
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